Gateway Courses by Major/Minor

Psychological Science

Gateway/Entry-Point Courses into Psychological Science Major/Minor

There are several courses students may take that provide an introduction to field of psychological science. PSYS 001 (described below) is a prerequisite for most other courses in the field.

PSYS 001 Introduction to Psychological Science

Introduction to the entire field, emphasizing the behavior of the normal adult human being. Offered fall and spring.

PSYS 111 Learning, Cognition and Behavior

The goal of the course is to give students a background in the basic principles of learning, memory, and behavior. The course will cover research from both Learning Theory (often animal subjects) and Cognitive Psychology (usually human subjects). Students will learn practical information that they will be able to use in their personal and professional lives, in addition to being exposed to systematic research in experimental psychology. The hope is to allow students to learn something useful in addition to understanding how scientific ideas and theories are generated, tested, and advanced in experimental psychology.  Prerequisite: PSYS 001. Offered in the spring semester.

PSYS115 Biopsychology

PSYS 115 explores the biological bases of behavior. The course examines both classical and contemporary issues in behavioral neuroscience, including introduction to nervous system, physiological and behavioral effects of drugs, biological theories of behavioral disorders and the biological basis of learning, memory, emotion and stress. Prerequisite: PSYS 001. Offered in the spring semester.

PSYS 130 Social Psychology

Social psychology is the scientific study of how people come to understand individuals, groups, and themselves as social entities. Social psychological processes influence how we perceive, judge, remember, and behave toward people. These processes shape, and are shaped by, our social expectations, social roles, social goals, and social interactions. Although many people believe that social psychologists merely study "the obvious" (e.g., attractive people are liked better than unattractive people), the field itself has made a significant impact both theoretically (e.g., theories about the formation of group stereotypes and prejudice) and in an applied sense (e.g., making group decisions more effective in the workplace). Students will learn the corpus of research findings and theories of social psychology, as well as research methods that social psychologists use. Students will be challenged to apply the lessons of social psychology in the real world. Prerequisite: PSYS 001. Offered fall and spring.

PSYS 150 Developmental Psychology: Childhood

This course examines the major developmental theories and empirical findings explaining human development from prenatal to early adulthood. Development will be explored in the areas of physical, emotional, cognitive and social domains with emphasis on both universal developmental patterns and individual differences. The importance of the social context as well as the biological and evolutionary basis for behavior will be explored. Prerequisite: PSYS 001. Offered fall and spring.

PSYS 170 Abnormal Psychology

This course is designed to provide students with a broad overview of abnormal human behavior. The course will cover historical perspectives on abnormality as well as current models assessing, diagnosing, and treating various types of psychopathology. In addition to reviewing current research on a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems, case studies will be used to illustrate the "human" side of mental illness. Legal and ethical issues in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology will also be discussed. Prerequisite: PSYS 001. Offered fall and spring.

Contact Information

Sondra Solomon, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Psychological Science
Phone: (802) 656-3034
Department Website: